We don’t know all too much about what the debut album from duo Rikroshi (formerly Bells and Parks) will be like outside of the info on their Indiegogo page (the campaign wrapped up in June), but if the one available single "Watercolor" is anything to go by, winter 2015 is gonna bring us one hell of a dark, beautifully sulky album. This track is a bit gothy/new wave gloom and a bit of a melody that sounds somewhat folk-Asian inspired, and yet it isn’t afraid to really slam on some heavy-ass, big-chord guitar work. The high-pitched wandering voice of singer Tessa Bennecht and said slamming guitar noise complement each other very nicely in "Watercolors," which, as the season changes to something darker and more introspective, feels very apropos to this time of year. It even has a bit of the bittersweetness of the upcoming season that isn’t all shadows and cold, but sometimes is bright and cheery as well, when at the end of the track it goes major for just a few fleeting seconds to fade out on a positive note. It’s intriguing stuff from an artist pair in the midst of transition, and it feels just right as our world too transitions in these dusky months. Listen below, and get in the darkmonth mood.
Here’s a bit of a fun (and odd) one for you strangeness-loving musicheads out there in Austin-town this Halloween: quirky experimental musician and Zorch-member Shmu has just put out a quite fun album of his layered, colorful music called Shhhh! (which we’ll get to reviewing in full sometime soon), and alongside it he’s released a free compuoter game of the same name to accompany the album proper! This kind-of welcome cross-platform, multi-sensual experience seems to be a bit of a trend with the more boundary-pushing musicians of the day (one of our favorite rappers Malik did something similar not long ago), and it’s one we welcome with gamin’ fingers and music-eatin’ ears at the ready.
In the case of Shmu’s digital package (heh…heh), a quick jaunt through the game appears to say that it’s a kind-of psychedelic post-modern walkabout through a bizarre garden that looks like it was created by shoving the internet in the 90s, the old exploration/puzzle game Myst, a whole lot of high-quality drugs and the music of Shmu together into a digital blender. This game would be what popped out the other end of that imaginary machine, and the gameplay in my experience so far is of the first-person “explore this weird, but peaceful world,” art-piece-style genre (but which has shooter controls in its settings, so presumably at some point there be somethin’ to shoot at).
Shhhh! the game is utterly the perfect atmosphere within which to experience the deep dream pop music of Shmu, and it’s free for both Mac and PC here, so if gettin’ a bit weird with your music-listening appeals to you, this is right up your oddball alley. Also, give one of excellent tracks from the album below to getcha in the weirdness-explorin’ mindset while the game download settles its strange self right on into your ‘puterin machine.
Nashville-based vintage rock 4-piece Sky Temple Blues have bluesy psych-rock pulsing through their veins. With driving rhythms and wailing guitar riffs, the guys are pumping out high-energy Zeppelin-meets-Soundgarden tunes, and they’ve teamed up with 24th Frame Media to bring us their debut music video for "Arrow in the Sun."
After watching it, we have to agree with the band. It’s badass. -Caroline Bowman
If you’re looking for tunes worthy of soundtracking only the coolest Halloween party (obviously, the one at *your* house), 222 has got you covered. This electro-dance rock duo released their self-produced debut album, Libretto, earlier this year. They also recently put out an eerie music video for their single One Night Stand, which stars singer/guitarist Jade Howard as a stylish femme fatale, getting back at a date (played by drummer Dennis Hamlin) who has become a bit too attached.
If you’re eager to start the holiday early, 222 are playing at the Hotel Cafe tonight at 9 pm. On Halloween, they’re releasing an early version of a new music video to their mailing list subscribers. It’s for their song "Headcake", and it looks like the band is aiming to up the creepy-factor this time around. – Brittany Scheffler
The guys in NYC psych-fusion-pop band Solid Goold may not realize this now, but what just happened to them is priceless: they experienced (and unwittingly orchestrated) a story so absurd that it will spread like wildfire, and be recalled again and again to their friends and family for the rest of their lives. It will change the mood of many people for the better, and also help them promote their music. Legendary stuff…
We will just paste the core of it below (you can read the full version here):
"Solid Goold would like to regretfully inform all of you that our European tour has been brutally cut short by the ruthless UK Border Force. We went into our trip blissfully unaware of how serious these borders (especially the UK apparently) really are. An unforeseen cascade of unfortunate circumstances led us to being REFUSED entry to the UK, only to be immediately placed back on a plane to JFK.
We were given advice from someone who admittedly has never attempted to enter the UK as a foreigner to just simply claim we were coming to the UK on holiday and had our instruments just to jam.
But things (and our white lies) quickly spiraled out of control, culminating in the Border officers finding my 500 SOLID GOOLD BUSINESS CARDS which included a link to this page which resulted in them seeing our 2015 SOLID GOOLD EUROTOUR VIDEO (which was outrageously incriminating to say the least, let alone with an air of goofy/cocky/douchiness thinly veiled as a sense of humor i’m almost positive these officers did NOT appreciate) which was incredibly" embarrassing considering we had just LIED about what we were intending on doing.
Notwithstanding the hilarious turn of events, we wouldn’t be blogging about this if these guys’ music wasn’t good. They released eight track album "Alone in the World" in November 2013, and it’s an eclectic collection of genres minced in small bits and reconstructed in the shape of bizarre psychedelic-pop. Opener "Can’t Be Afraid of" (streaming) features a Barrettesque melody swimming in an orchestral arrangement full of pianos, flutes and horns, switching mid way into an odd bridge that sounds as if Elton John and Procol Harum were asked to play four bars each, over and over, for thirty seconds or so. "Right Eye" recycles Supertramp’s electric piano driven melodies (Supertramp, people, that’s a band that needs to be rediscovered!) but takes them for an unpredictable ride. Traces of reggae, classical music and even jazz emerge here and there in the rest of the record, which follows in the footsteps of NYC pioneers of eclectic/quirky pop They Might Be Giants. Not sure the Brits would have liked this stuff anyway (those guards certainly didn’t), but we do!
The quietly celebratory music video for Brooklyn-via-Detroit singer/songwriter Victoria Reed‘s "Make It Easy" (playing below) is an ode to resilience. Showing the twenty-something Reed wandering through a sunny wood before coming to a blissful scenery at a waterfall, the crisp clip elegantly portrays internal struggle with compassion. Reed wrote the track (featured in her forthcoming debut album ‘Chariot’) as a kind of letter to herself and, with the serene imagery of director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, she has imbued these accompanying visuals with reflective warmth. ‘Chariot’ is scheduled for release on February 26th, 2016. In the meantime, Victoria Reed plays at Baby’s All Right on Monday (11.2). – Zach Weg
Felte Records hosts a show tonight at the Non Plus Ultra, with a disparate lineup to welcome the darkest part of the year. Melbourne’s new romantic punk Romy (A G E N D E R) shares new music from her eponymous project. With a debut EP around the corner, new shuffler The Tissues wipes Los Angeles again, and upstart occultists Sextile will raise the night — stream their debut album One Thousand Hands below. Brooklyn’s Lushes, of the original show lineup, was called to support Kurt Vile before their Europe tour. Label owner Jeff Owens and Lucifersam spin songs at 9. $5 at the door. – Ryan Mo
Son Little, a.k.a. Aaron Livingston, has put his personal spin on Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” The results deliver a soulful aching approach as Livingston’s wandering guitar licks and vocals meld, turning the lyrics inward. The drafty resonance shifts the tempo in a personal direction. Son Little is set to perform at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday, November 13 on a bill that also includes Xenia Rubinos.
Mary Kennedy is a lifelong Bostonian learning her way around Kansas City. She can often be found in an art museum, checking out local music, or taking a nap.
Below is a new unreleased song from Girlpool called "Soup." It was recorded on October 24, 2015 at The Bunker in San Francisco by PressureDrop.tv. The duo is currently on tour on the West Coast, and will be stopping home on Saturday, November 14 for Alex G‘s record release show at the First Unitarian Church.
NYC gave birth to records such as Metal Machine Music and Deadream Nation, cornerstones of the genre known, by the few initiated, as "noise rock." Disciples of this cult sound abound in the experiment-driven Brooklyn DIY scene, and you’ll have the chance to check out three of them at once on November 12, opening for delicious post punk revivalists Future Punx.
The noisiest and most dissonant of the three bands on this bill appears to be Clean Girls, a Brooklyn based trio hailing from Virginia. Their music is pure post-hardcore fury, although luckily enough – according to their Facebook notes – their drummer/screamer is listed to play the part of "common sense." Listening to streaming track "June Girls will reveal that he obviously has none.
Dead Waves often reference the bright, spacious distortion and driving bass lines of Jesus and Mary Chain, alternating them with explosive moments reminiscent of Nirvana at their wildest.
On the other hand, Heavy Birds, with their droney, sparser arrangements and discernible but obsessive melodies, feature a tamer sound that places them in psychedelic territory (a musical land not immune from the noise bug). Their sound is influenced by both The Velvet Underground and the bands from that ’80s US psychedelic wave called Paysley Underground.
Check out these bands’ music below, and if their music appeals to you, be at Palisades on November 12, with a solid pair of earplugs.